Meet the Member: Stacee Mandeville, Executive Coach at Red Leaf Coaching

Member news | April 29, 2019

In our latest Meet the Member feature, we spoke with Stacee Mandeville, Executive Coach at Red Leaf Coaching. As an Executive Coach, Stacee has had the pleasure of working with individuals in myriad of industries, including Merck, HP, General Electric, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Verizon, A&M, Citigroup, Barclays and Levi's. She has used her accumulated experiences with clients from all over the world, combined with her theater background, to create the Red Leaf Coaching methodology. Keep reading to learn more about her unique approach. 

FACC: As the founder of Red Leaf Coaching, you have worked with individuals in many industries and mentored at pitch events for TechStars, Startup Institute, Rise NY and beyond. What aspect are you most surprised to learn that young professionals and executives struggle with?

SM: I've been coaching since 1999 and the most surprising thing I've seen is how universal people's challenges are. I've been all over the world, and I've found that people all struggle with looking and sounding confident under pressure, being clear, and using emotional intelligence in the context of work. We are all culturally different but still, we are united in our human desire to be understood and respected. 

FACC: Today, there are many resources available to professionals who are serious about developing their personal skills and advancing their career. Can you elaborate upon the Red Leaf Method and what makes your approach effective?

SM: My approach is particularly effective because it's deeply rooted in practicality and simplicity. Theory without a practical application that clients can take back to their desks and actually DO is my worst enemy, and I do my best to give actionable, repeatable, benchmarkable tools that they can use to improve. I'm helping people manifest their best, most confident self, rather than tell them THIS is how it should look. Everyone's different, and the super introverted scientist will look different at her best than the extroverted sales guy and his best. Also, my super-power is reading people. I coach that introverted scientist very differently than the extroverted sales guy, all in the same class. This way everyone gets what they need to succeed, in the way they need to hear it, with exercises that push them far enough outside their comfort zone to grow, but not so far out that they shut down. I've also been told I'm engaging (I have a theatrical background) which helps make the classes informative AND fun.

FACC: One of your courses focuses on emotional intelligence. Emotions and the expression of emotions are processed in very different ways in different cultures and France and the United States are no exception to this rule. What is one piece of advice you have for professionals to hone their emotional intelligence, within multi-cultural teams?

SM: My advice is to get out of your own head and look around you. And breathe before you judge or attack. I'm always amazed when I see mixed cultures clashing because people don't bother to actually see the other people at the table. They assume everyone is like them (and this is not just cultural, it's personality, ways of working, ways of communicating...) and they don't take the time to think...wait...what's really happening here? Being actively mindful and caring about your colleagues is a lot of work, but it's so important. Always be listening, always be looking, and when in doubt why not just ask? Have a conversation to discover common ground and respect boundaries where they are not-negotiable. 

FACC: In regards to public speaking, many people believe they either do or do not have the persona necessary to present in front of a large group. How do you help your clients become more confident and express their message clearly?

SM: We fear the unknown. And public speaking is an unknown where we will be judged by our peers. How will I respond if I get a nasty question? What if I pass out? What if my voice cracks? What if the audience hates my topic, what if they fall asleep? So I do my best to take the guesswork out as much as possible. We do vocal and body language exercises so you can develop the habits of executive presence so you pretty much know exactly how you will look and sound. We develop the messaging so that it's clear and audience focused, so you can make the best guess as to the audience's reaction. We work on taking Q&A so you have a better chance at always looking calm, and not get caught off guard. When you can walk up to the front of the room, confident in your skills, it takes some of the anxiety out of it. 

FACC: How did you hear about the French-American Chamber of Commerce and what are you most excited about experiencing or discovering as a member of our network?

SM: My friend Sarah Zambuto introduced me to Jeremie Sautter (FACC Associate Director of Membership). I'm excited to work more with the French community, learn more about French business culture, and just meet tons of amazing people!

Interested in connecting with Stacee? Log into the FACC Member Directory to send her a message.